Oct 20, 2017
With every week that passes, we get a clearer idea of who teams are. This year has been tough with the season long trend of underdog success throwing some predictions off, but over time we can begin to understand teams’ strengths and weaknesses. This also leads to prices rising and finding value becomes a tougher proposition. This week we feature some lower priced options that should exceed their price and can hopefully help you hit the cash line.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
So after this I promise we’ll get into the lower priced targets, but Dak has a really good matchup that is just too good to pass up. Prescott has looked even better in year two than in his impressive rookie season last year. He has upped his yards per game passing and rushing, which has been mostly due to a big bump in usage compared to last year. He’s seen a slight bump in INT% but that was more to do with him regressing to the mean after having an absurdly low INT%. The Cowboys are coming off a bye week that saw them still dominating headlines in the fantasy community because of the Ezekiel Elliot suspension drama. They’ll be facing a San Fransisco 49ers team out in California that has given up the 7th most passing yards per game this year, while sticking somewhere in the middle in terms of rushing yards per game. As a team, Dallas has gone from being ranked last in terms of passing play percentage in 2016, to 17th this year. They haven’t been as ground and pound oriented as they were, meaning this game sets up well for the passing game to put up some good numbers. Dak should be able to find open receivers when he needs to and Dallas should be able to move the ball effectively against a defense that has lost starting defensive tackle Arik Armstead to the IR and had 3 of their top 4 LBs limited in practice on multiple days this week. In short, the 49ers are banged up and bad, and Dak and the Cowboys are rested and good.
Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
On the other side of the ball in that Dallas/San Francisco game, Carlos Hyde pops up as a nice value play this week. Before the 49ers game last week there was some chatter from the coaching staff about getting backup running back Matt Breida some more work. For about 72 hours there was some question about workload for Hyde, who had seemed to fall out of favor in the pre-season as well. Then, the game started and by the end of the day Hyde had out worked Breida at better than a 3:1 ratio, and it was Hyde who cashed in twice from the 1 yard line to supplement his low rushing yardage total. Hyde has also been a regular target in the passing game, catching at least 3 passes every game except for in Week 5 against Indy where he was dealing with a sore hip. Hyde should be featured this week against the Cowboys and the 49ers would be wise to take advantage of Dallas’ shaky run defense. The Cowboys have given up an average of 169 yards on the ground in their three losses to the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, and Green Bay Packers. Aside from Todd Gurley, that’s not a group of backs that intimidates teams with a good rushing defense. If the 49ers want to get their first win of the season, sticking to the run game, and their most talented back, is the way to go.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
With DeMarco Murray showing up on the injury report all week with DNPs, Henry is ready to step in and produce for his owners against the Cleveland Browns. Murray seems like a game time decision at best, and has been bothered by a lingering hamstring issue. In games when Henry has gotten double digit carries this year he has averaged over 4 yards per carry every time and has scored in two out of three of those games. With Delanie Walker already ruled out for the game this week against Cleveland, DeMarco Murray struggling with his hamstring injury, and QB Marcus Mariota working through his own hamstring injury, Tennessee will want to win this game while keeping everyone as healthy as they can heading into their bye week. That opens the door nicely for Henry to put up a great day. Tennessee has been highly effective as a team rushing the ball, with the 3rd best yards per carry average at 4.8 and the 6th best yardage total despite only having the 11th most attempts. This is a team that is very efficient at running the ball and will looking to take a nice win against the Browns in Cleveland. At only $5500 in DraftKings, Henry has the talent of a top back and will be in line for double digit touches against a team that just gave up 100 yards to Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman last week.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
JuJu is a dirt cheap option this week in DraftKings at only $3800 and could be about to explode with a huge day. The Steelers have been pretty much a one man show through the air this year, with Martavis Bryant giving next to nothing outside of a productive day in week 2 against Minnesota. Bryant hasn’t topped 48 yards in any week before or since and recently his name has appeared more often in trade rumors than in highlight reels. He will make a nice decoy for coverage against the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincy has been very good against teams’ top two WRs, but per Football Outsiders is ranked 30th against “Other WRs.” Pittsburgh this year just happens to be running 3 WR personnel groups at the second highest rate in the league, behind only the Miami Dolphins, at 78%. Smith-Schuster’s draft profile on NFL.com highlights his awareness in traffic and ability to find open spots in zone coverage, which is how Cincy plays their pass defense more than two thirds of the time. This matchup is tailor made for JuJu, who has shown himself to be a reliable target for QB Ben Roethlisberger.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Kittle has seen his role in the offense increase the last two weeks, being targeted 17 times the last two weeks, and he could see a rise over those high numbers this week. He has a great matchup at home against the Dallas Cowboys, who have struggled against TEs this year ranking 29th in DVOA against them in pass defense per Football Outsiders. In a game where the best strategy the 49ers have is to run the ball, especially given that rookie QB C.J. Beathard is going to be starting his first game in the NFL, play action passes and throws over the middle should be opened up. And speaking of C.J. Beathard, now is a good time to mention that he and George Kittle were teammates at Iowa, so there should be a lot of familiarity there. Kittle is super cheap at only $3600 and should have no problem tripling up his price.
Steaming tight ends has been the way to go so far this year, and few teams are a better streaming bet than the Baltimore Ravens, who currently are the lowest ranked team covering TEs according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings. Rudolph is another sub $4000 TE option this week, and any team with a half decent TE with that price should be put in consideration. The last four weeks, the Ravens have given up an average line of 3 catches for 51 yards and a TD, good for 14.1 points in DraftKings. Rudolph is more talented than Zachary Miller, Jared Cook, Jesse James, and Mercedes Lewis who are the four guys who accumulated those numbers. The Vikings will also need to lean on Rudolph more with Stefon Diggs already ruled out this week. Rudolph will be a cheap, streaming option with a great chance to hit around 15 points or more.Back to DFS